Amazon Jungle Tours

Amazon Rainforest Tours

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What to do in the Amazon Rainforest?

Activities offered on Amazon tours

Nature & Cultural Activities in the Amazon
Tours suggested for Experience & Sustainability

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what to do in the amazon rainforest

If you’re wondering what to do in the amazon rainforest, the answer depends on your interest. The Amazon Rainforest is the greatest container of wildlife in the world and second to none for wildlife sightings and diversity. One of the best suggestions would be to explore this diversity with a professional Amazon guide. For an incredible extensive list, you can head over to to see 100 Things To Do In The Amazon Rainforest.

Professional guides in the Amazon quickly get snapped up by leading tour operators who try to give their guests the best possible wildlife sightings. What is more, guiding is one of the easiest ways for untrained individuals to make extra money. This can and has been very dangerous for tourists, so we strongly advise using a recommended tour operator.

  • tambopata research center, puerto maldonado

    Six Days:

    Tambopata Research Center Puerto Maldonado, Peru

    Family Program for Teens | 6D / 5N

    See the famous and colourful macaw parrots, the icons of Amazonia, at one of the Amazon’s largest clay licks. See if you can spot toucans and parrots on the canopy tower, explore the rainforest on trail walks, and search for elusive caiman while night hiking. You will also experience what it’s like to be a macaw researcher while canopy climbing to see this only recently studied ecosystem.


There are many activities in the Amazon Rainforest to participate in. Whether your interest is plants, animals, or native culture, your guide is able to teach a little about the forest and point out interesting animals and plants on hikes or boat trips.

You may want to fish for the famous piranha, turning the tables on these misunderstood fish by finding out how delicious they can be. This activity is offered by most tours in the Amazon Rainforest and is sure to result in fascination, but watch out for fingers! A place I have done this is in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve. Not usually a fish fanatic, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavour.

  • posada amazonas lodge, puerto maldonado

    Three Days:

    Posada Amazonas Lodge Puerto Maldonado, Peru

    Perfect for your first experience of the Amazon Rainforest, you will only be 45 minutes from Puerto Maldonado while you experience abundant Amazon wildlife. You will tour around Lake Tres Chimbadas, visit a working farm, walk an ethnobotanical trail, and observe Amazon birds on the Canopy Tower. The Posada Amazonas has a wellness center where you can enjoy a massage or aromatherapy treatment after your walks in the Amazon wilderness.
    Canopy Tower, Wellness Center

Another suggestion for what to do in the Amazon Rainforest is to visit macaw clay licks. These present guests with an impressive show of sound and colour. These areas are where hundreds of brightly coloured parrots flock to make use of the beneficial clay. Lodges near these areas are smart to add these clay sections to their tour, as guests are often overwhelmed by fantastic photo opportunities. They are not just for bird and parrot lovers, as large animals like the elusive tapir make use of certain clay licks. This presents the best, if not the only, place for seeing this large Amazonian mammal in the wild. Good places for viewing animals at clay licks are the Heath River Wildlife Center, where you can see one of the world’s top 10 of the 100 known clay licks, and the Manu Wildlife Center, where you can see both a macaw and tapir lick. The largest known clay lick in the Amazon Rainforest is located very close to the Tambopata Research Center where you can stay as a guest and talk to macaw researchers.

  • posada amazonas lodge, puerto maldonado

    Five Days:

    Posada Amazonas Lodge Puerto Maldonado, Peru

    Birdwatching Program | 5D / 4N
    Despite its close proximity to Puerto Maldonado, the wildlife around the lodge is astonishing. You will visit the canopy tower to observe parrots and toucans, visit the clay licks to see macaws, and explore many different birding habitats. You are assigned a professional birding guide to see a diverse set of species.


For the more adventurous, I recommend camping in the rainforest as there is really nothing quite like it. Hearing the unusual calls and sounds at night and waking up to freshen yourself in the river is an amazing experience. This is also the best way to see some of the more mysterious rainforest animals. A private guide is best for this activity and a personal recommendation is the Tahuayo Lodge near Iquitos in northern Peru.

  • what lodge amazon rainforest

    Eight Days

    Tahuayo Lodge Iquitos, Peru

    You can visit the highly regarded Tahuayo Lodge & Amazon Research Center as part of this tour of the bio-diverse Tahuayo Reserve. You are assigned a private guide & you can choose an itinerary to reflect your interests. Boasting the most itinerary options in Amazonia, you can whiz through the trees on the canopy zipline, view poison dart frog initiatives, & observe different monkeys on the A.R.C primate research grid.
    Private Guide, Zipline, Primate Research Grid

If you’re an avid bird watcher planning to visit the Tahuayo Lodge, we recommend contacting the lodge and asking to be guided by Josias Tello Huanaquiri, a birding guide who has guided many ornithologists and is considered one of the best birding guides in the Amazon.

Another very popular activity is finding attractive poison dart frogs as they hop across the rainforest. Some areas have conservation sections set up to protect these animals and to provide guests with an almost certain way of viewing these fantastic amphibians. This is another activity offered by the Tahuayo Lodge. In fact, there is a very extensive list of itinerary options on the Tahuayo Lodge itineraries page.

Night spotting for nocturnal wildlife is also a fantastic way to spend evenings. The rainforest comes alive with a totally different type of jungle fauna like night monkeys, caiman, various nocturnal reptiles, mammals, and is the best way to find tarantulas. This activity is offered by most tour operators.

What to do in the Amazon Rainforest

Anaconda spotting is a popular activity but is best achieved in the dry season as water levels shrink and they have less places to hide. This changes depending where in the Amazon you’re visiting. The photo here was from the Tahuayo lodge and was taken in August 2010 on their trail grid. It should be noted that large anaconda are rarely seen but this time they got lucky!

If you have a particular fondess for monkeys, you can search the impressive diversity of Amazon monkeys on the primate research grid set out close to the Tahuayo Lodge.

I have never been anywhere better in the world for viewing the constellations than the Amazon Rainforest. My fascination has always been animals, but sitting in a canoe being taken to the heart of the rainforest, looking up and seeing the different shades of blue and black is hard to beat. I have never seen the Milky Way in so much astonishing detail.

Another way to experience the Amazon Rainforest is to cruise the Amazon River. With the Tucano Amazon Cruise (Manaus, Brazil) or the Delfin Cruises (Iquitos, Peru) you don’t just sit and relax, although you are more than welcome to if you wish, you are also encouraged to explore different areas of forest as you travel down river. At each stop, you can leave the vessel with a naturalist guide to point out the animals and plants while you walk leisurely through the undergrowth or explore in canoes.

  • what lodge amazon rainforest

    Five Days:

    Delfin I Luxury Cruise Iquitos, Peru

    As entrée to your luxury Amazon cruise, you will be chauffeured in the Delfin limo-styled coach from Iquitos airport to the dock of the luxury Delfin I. After relaxing with Peru’s famous cocktail, you will board the Delfin I to enjoy your own vast suite complete with personal pool, massages & sophisticated cuisine by candle-light. Delfin provide 8 person skiffs & modern Kayaks so you can explore the Pacaya Samiria National Park in detail.
    Spacious Suites, Personal Pool, Massages

Swimming with pink dolphins is another highlight. These intelligent animals will approach you, similarly to their oceanic cousins, and investigate as you explore their aquatic home.

If your interest is culture, you can visit a native shaman and learn about the spiritworld along with all the medicinal plants e.g. ayahuasca. Find out what he uses to treat different conditions you are familar with like colds, insects bites, right up to the more serious afflictions.

The cloud forest is another recommendation. Here you can see the complete transformation of the flora and fauna as everything changes to deal with the increased altitude and changing conditions, and I hope I have helped a little with what to do in the Amazon Rainforest.

If you have any other ideas for things to do in the Amazon Rainforest, feel free to leave your comments below. I know one of my first things to do was to find social spiders that live along Amazon tributaries and build hammock shaped webs above the water.

Ash - Author & Travel AdvisorAbout the Author: is a frequent visitor to the Amazon Rainforest and is passionate about helping people get the best experiences from the Amazon. Ash is a contributor to both and writing about tropical destinations, rainforests and wildlife. Feel free to contact Ash for tour help in the Amazon Rainforest. When not helping tourists with tours and info, Ash can be found salsa-ing the night away.

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